I AM – Devotional Style Short stories – “Been There-Not Going Back”

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BEEN THERE – NOT GOING BACK

Her fingers are cramped, her back hurts, her eyes burn, and her neck feels as though its frozen in place as she sits slumped over the legal pad as her pen skirts across the paper filling page after page as it writes the next chapter.

“Take a break, child.” The Lord whispers in her ear. “Go lie on the couch and rest for a while.” He gently adds. She lays her pen down and standing, flexes her fingers, groans, and stretches her back muscles. Taking a deep breath she slowly walks to the couch and stretches out giving a long sigh of relief. The pen has been writing furiously and now she can take a time out.

Her head has barely touched the pillow when suddenly everything turns to black. Black, as no other black can be described. Her body has suddenly been transported from the comfort of her couch to a place that is so dark she can’t see her hand in front of her face. She’s scared. Her body begins to shake and she sense’s Someone has stepped up behind her. Peace begins flowing through her like a gentle wave. No words are spoken.

The blackness is so black there’s nothing for her eyes to adjust to. It isn’t like walking into a dark room where some light peeks in and one can see at least a shadow. No, this is so black it can’t be described! Suddenly faces begin to appear in the darkness. She sucks in a breath as they come closer and closer to where she’s standing. Men and women, teen-age girls and boys, with expressions of fear, anger, shame, confusion, and some with hatred written in their eyes and across their faces as though in large dark ink. She takes a step back. Somehow these people are not allowed to touch her but they have. They’ve touched something deep within her.

A woman, with her head thrown back, screams a bone chilling scream as she furiously twists her long hair and pulls frantically. She screams an agonizing scream, yet no sound comes from her mouth. As she watches in horror a man leans toward her and pleads “help me,” yet no words are spoken. His face is a horrible mask of agony like nothing she’s ever witnessed.

Face after face appears and pass before her with torture written on them, eyes filled with emptiness, screams of pain and desolation. A man’s face appears and comes toward her with his face contorted with absolute hatred and his eyes meet hers with a putrid violence. She jumps back bumping into the white robe behind her. “You’ll be okay, My child” is whispered in her ear as gentle arms wrap around her from behind. She feels His beard on her cheek and the comfort of His arms.

She turns her head to look at Him and asks, “Who are these people?” His eyes fill with tears. “Those who have rejected Me,” He replies with sadness. “But can’t You help them?” she asks. “No child. They chose this place. I gave them every opportunity but they chose this as their eternal home.” She wants to scream! She wants to beg Him to take them out of here! She wants to run from this horrible place. The comforting arms drop from their hug and He takes a step back.

Suddenly the faces are gone and she’s standing as stiff as a telephone pole. Red hot flames have encircled her; orange, red, yellow, flares up on all sides of her. Only her head and eyes move as she looks around. Furious fire engulfs her, yet not one spark touches her.

The Man is beside her. “You’re safe” He says. The flames grow hotter, taller and she can’t believe she’s not even feeling the heat from them. “I am with you,” He says. The flames lick at her but don’t touch her. They grow hotter still and looking skyward she can see the flames are all around her and above her. There is no escape! “I am always with you, even in the fires of life,” is gently spoken.

Poof, the flames are gone!

She’s standing in the total blackness again. Her mind is whirling. She has a million questions she wants to ask but suddenly her attention is drawn to a white building appearing out of the pitch blackness. It’s a small country-style church. It begins turning. The whole building is slowly turning counter-clockwise on its axis. It begins to turn faster and gradually it begins to spin faster and faster and faster until it spins off its axis and flies out into the darkness and disappears.

Suddenly she’s jolted from the darkness back onto her couch with the blare of the telephone ringing. Confused and disoriented, she can barely speak.

~~~

Joshua 24:14 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you shall serve.”

~~~

This story is not an imaginary story that popped into my mind. It is a true account of the Lord transporting me into hell through a vision. I was wide awake when He chose to allow me to experience, in part, the real hell.

Hell is a very real place and Jesus refers to it many times throughout scripture. We have to make the choice before our last breath on this earth as to where we will spend eternity. We only have two choices. Heaven is our place of peace and everlasting love. Hell is the place without love. It is the place of eternal torment. Romans 10:9 states that if we “confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, pray this simple prayer. Where you spend eternity rests on your decision.

I come to you Lord Jesus and ask that you forgive me of my sins. I believe in my heart that you are God’s Son and you died on the cross and arose for the forgiveness of my sins. I am giving you my life. Please come into my heart now and fill me with your Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen

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Transported

 

Trees whiz past, the wind ruffles his hair, as the young man flies down the hill and approaches another steep grade in the road. His legs begin to tire as he peddles his bike up the hill. It has been a time of reflection and he isn’t at ease with his thoughts.

He peddles harder.

Finally cresting the hill he stops and gazes out over the beautiful meadow stretched out over what seems to be miles. The grass is a rich green dotted with wild flowers. The few trees reach high into the sky, and a lone bird swoops past.

He takes a deep breath, glances up at the sun, and places his foot back on the bike’s peddle.

Pushing off he coasts down the hill without the effort of having to peddle. The wind rushes through his hair, his eyes water from the force of the wind, and taking his hands off the handle bars he raises them high in the air and loudly shouts out of sheer joy.

The front wheel suddenly twists as it hits a rock in the road and flying through the air the young man hits hard as he lands several feet away from his twisted and mangled bicycle.

He lies unconscious as a Man slowly walks across the meadow toward him. The young man, in his unconscious state is unaware that he has entered another dimension.

The Man is talking to him and telling the young man he needs to get straight with God. “Only My children can enter heaven and the only way to do that is through Me.” The Man states.

The boy, in his altered state, looks at the Man standing before him and says, “Everyone says that Jesus isn’t the only way.”

“I am the way, the truth, and the life,” the man states. “There is no other way. I am the only way to the Father.”

The young man’s eyes begin to flutter slightly and gradually he shakes his head to shake off the fuzziness of his clouded mind. Slowly he sits up and sees his mangled bike.

Then he remembers.

“I am the only way.”

(Sue’s version) John 14:6

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A Boy’s Prayer

The day has been busy with school, bike riding, playing with the dog, and finally homework and dinner. As the boy towels off after his shower he dons his superman pajamas and crawls into bed.

He pushes back against the headboard waiting for his mother to come and kiss him goodnight and say their nightly prayers. He picks up the Bible Story Book that they had been reading from and opens its pages.

He’s reading about Jesus when his mother steps into the room and walks over to his bed and sits on the edge. She smiles, rustles his damp hair and asks, “What is it saying about Jesus?”

He gives a brief comment and then blurts out, “I want Jesus in my heart, mama.” He’s mentioned it before but would quickly change his mind out of a lack of understanding, so Mom asks him a few questions and they talk for a short time.

“Are you wanting to ask Jesus to be your Savior, to come into your heart now?” his mother asks. A big grin crosses his face and an excited, “yes!” bursts from his lips.

Mom leads him in a prayer thanking God for His forgiveness and for loving him. The boy suddenly states, “I know you are God’s Son and you died for me. Jesus, will you come and live in my heart? Amen.”

Mom can’t help it, tears spill down her cheeks.

In her mind’s eye she sees Jesus standing next to her son. She asks her son if he sees Jesus anywhere in the room. For a long moment he is quiet.

She waits.

He suddenly grins broadly and states, “He’s standing by my shoulder.” She reaches over and hugs her son tightly and then tells him that’s exactly what she saw.

The Man was standing right next to her son as he gave his life to Christ.

(Sue’s version) Romans 10:9

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True Freedom

The roar of helicopters fill the air over the jungles as soldiers stomp through the marshes. Their lives are at stake and yet they continue to move forward protecting those within their country.

The sacrifice, they say, is well worth it, as they crawl among the trees and brush. Bullets whiz past and they return fire. So far none in their squadron has been hit this morning. They lift up silent prayers that they achieve what others are unwilling to do.

Back home their families make due on the little the government gives them. Mom’s hold the household together and pray fervently that their loved one will come home safe while others are screaming, cussing, and protesting.

The battle field is treacherous and as one soldier dives towards his  fox hole a bullet rips through his body and he falls bleeding in the dirt and mud.

“Dear God, oh Jesus, help me,” he whispers as his life blood stains the dirt. A Man steps down into the fox hole and kneels beside the soldier. The soldier looks at him through the sweat and dirt on his face. “Who are you?” the soldier whispers.

“I am the I Am.”

The soldier whispers, “I give you my soul,” and slowly closes his eyes. The darkness turns to a brilliant light engulfing him in a peaceful dimension of pure love. The Man holds his hand and looks up to heaven.

(Sue’s version) Psalm 31:5

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Every Choice has a Consequence

party-in-the-park-2009

The day is sunny and bright. People are gathered in celebration of the holiday. Flags rustle in the wind and cheers fill the air as the speaker on the podium completes his speech.

The aroma of barbecue fills the air. Ice tea is served up by the gallons, potato salad is chilled on ice, and the baked beans are hot and savory. People are heard laughing, talking, and sharing stories of times past. Families sit at long wooden tables or gather on blankets on the grass enjoying the day and the celebrations.

As evening light begins to fade the crowd begins to disperse. The roar of a motorcycle’s engine deafens the person standing near by. Slamming his hands over his ears he yells at the rider, “You’ll be sorry for that, sucker!” The rider laughs and roars off down the street.

Night falls and the country road is dark. The beam from the single head light reaches out in front to guide the way. The rider is engrossed in thoughts about the day and doesn’t hear the engine of a pickup truck speeding up behind him.

The crash can be heard for miles as the motorcycle rider is thrown several feet in the air as his motorcycle slides haphazardly down the pavement. The pickup truck flips and rolls several times off the side of the road.

An ambulance arrives and a Man steps out and looks about. The smell of spilled gasoline fills the air. He sees the overturned truck and sees the driver lying sprawled beneath the carnage. Kneeling down He reaches under the metal to try to pull the driver to safety, but the driver is dead.

He sees the motorcycle and finds the rider sprawled several feet away in the grass. He approaches and kneels down. The man groans and is barely alive.

“I’m here to help you,” the Man states.

The rider groans and asks in barely a whisper, “Am I going to die?”

The Man leans close so the rider can hear Him. “Yes, but you can live forever.”

“How?” the rider asks weakly.

“Ask Me to forgive you and be your Lord and Savior.”

The Man leans far down with His ear close to the rider’s mouth. The rider whispers so softly that the Man can barely hear him.

“I give you my life. Forgive me, Jesus.” His eyes slowly close and with one last breath he enters the kingdom of God.

(Sue’s version) Romans 10:13 – Romans 6:23 – 2Peter 3:9

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Death Had its Grip

The Man stands gazing out across the barren, dry parched desert floor.  A slight breeze kisses His sweaty neck and feels refreshing. He reaches back and lifts His hair up off His neck and gazes up at the sun.

He drops His hand and turns to gaze at the distant mountains. A vulture squawks as it circles above a short distance ahead. “Be gone!” the Man demands and the vulture flies off toward the mountains.

Walking in the direction where the vulture had hovered, He stops next to a desert shrub. The rattle of a rattle snake fills His ears and looking down he sees the snake coiled and ready to strike. He points His index finger purposely directly at the snake and says nothing. The snake suddenly uncoils and slithers off in the opposite direction.

Continuing ahead He sees what appears to be something lying on the desert floor. He can’t make out what it is at this distance but His Spirit tells Him that whatever it is needs help. He rushes across the hot cracked ground toward the object and upon arriving He sees it is a man lying face down.

Kneeling beside the man He places His hand on his neck and detects no pulse. The Man stands, looks toward heaven and prays. Sweat rolls down His back as He leans over the dead man and with all Authority given to Him by His Father He commands the man to rise.

The man lying on the ground takes a deep breath and rolls onto his back. His eyes slowly open and with blurred vision He sees the Man kneeling over him. He raises a hand above his eyes to block the suns glare.

The Man offers him a drink of water from His wine skin and the man greedily grabs it and begins to drink. “Go slow,” the Man tells the stranger. “What is your name?” He asks as the man takes another swallow of the water.

“Jethro.” The man answers. “Who are you?” He hands the wine skin back to the Man.

“I am the I Am.” The Man answers.

“Where am I am?” the man asks as he sits up straighter. His hands are scorched, his face sunburned, and sweat has soaked his clothes.

“You are in the desert of your life. You were lost but now you are found.”

The man looks around at the vast desert that surrounds him and states, “You saved me. How can I repay you? How did you find me?”

The Man looks at him intently and states emphatically, “I want your life!”

“What?! But you just…”

“Believe in Me and you shall be saved.”

(Sue’s version) John 11:26, 12:44, 14:1,   – Luke 15:4-7

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Surf’s Up

 

“Surf’s up,” the young man yells. He grabs his surf board and rushes toward the water.

The waves crash against the shore and wading out toward the vast raging sea the young man jumps onto his board and paddles frantically against the waves.

Others follow with shouts of joy. A young girl hesitantly carries her surf board to the waters edge. She stands looking out at the raging water, takes a deep breath, and wades out into the sea.

Paddling towards the oncoming wave a shiver skirts down her spine. She hesitates just a moment and plunges her hands down into the salty sea to press against the force of the oncoming water.

She isn’t strong enough to skirt the top of the huge wave raging toward her and suddenly it overtakes her. Frothing foam, salt stings her eyes, her long blonde sun-streaked hair covers her face. Her surf board has escaped to the unknown.

Water swallows her up. She tries to scream. She needs air but the only air is far above her as she is swirled, slammed and tossed about as easily as seaweed with tons of water. Her body weakens as she fights to live.

“Please Jesus, save me” she silently screams.

As her body slumps in exhaustion and the last of her precious air seeps away she feels strong hands slowly lifting her. With the slight effort left in her body she slowly opens her eyes.

The face she sees is smiling, love filled eyes look at her. “You asked, My child, and I have answered. I’m here and I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are safe in My arms.”

Moments later, opening her eyes, like Jonah being spit out of the fishes belly, the young girl finds herself safely lying on the beach. People are gathered around her asking if she’s alright. Concern covers their faces and someone asks, “How did you get here? Where’s your surf board?”

Glancing from face to face the young girl weakly smiles and whispers, “Thank you, Jesus. You saved me.”

***********

As we journey through this life and face the good times, the bad times, the times of joy, and times of peace, we are safe in the Father’s arms if we have accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior.

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